Jan 15 2013

How CIOs Can Take Charge in 2013

This year, CIOs should tackle IT with a new game plan.

Technology has a habit of disrupting business as usual, and that applies to IT itself. Yet, many IT departments have resisted IT trends such as bring your own device, cloud services and remote access.

These shifts are collectively referred to as the consumerization of the enterprise because workers are blurring the lines between the way they use technology for personal and professional purposes.

There are some legitimate concerns about many of these changes. With BYOD, for example, questions about who owns what data on an employee-owned device are important to flesh out.

But what isn’t acceptable is sticking your head in the sand ostrich-style and pretending that the big, bad IT disruptors will just go away.

In the spirit of New Year’s, Chris Curran, a PwC principal and chief technologist for the U.S. firm's Advisory practice who was selected as a BizTech Must-Read IT Blogger, highlighted a few things CIOs can do to make 2013 their year on his blog the CIO Dashboard.

Refocus on Architecture and Architects

For the past seven years CIOs have steadily outsourced their software-building capabilities. They need to bring some of the strategic skills back inside, especially enterprise and system architecture skills, so they can evaluate the impacts of the hundreds of proposals to add capabilities and understand what’s needed to integrate it all.

March Mobile Forward

Mobile is unexplored terrain for many companies. Here’s an opportunity for CIOs to start fresh with business units on an exciting challenge that will pay off.

Help Social Media Grow Up

CIOs should partner with CMOs to institute social media monitoring and analysis systems, which will enable them to regain some influence over their company’s social media strategies.

Take an Outside-In Approach to Big Data

CIOs can combine core enterprise data — orders, products, customers, financials, etc. — with new sources coming from marketers, governments, social media, mobile devices and sensors to create new value.

Capitalize on SMAC as a Catalyst

CIOs should see internal confusion over SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) as an opportunity to help their companies evaluate which components of the SMAC suite of services will advance the company’s mission. Then, CIOs should step up and provide the pieces of SMAC that will meet business demands, as well as the ones that fall outside the SMAC hype.

Reach for the Clouds

CIOs can ride the next major wave that will come when large-scale enterprise software and industry-specific players have a majority of their customers in cloud installations. Then, enterprises can capitalize on the user-by-user, month-by-month payment schemes this will (finally) put into place for the core, run-the-business apps, bringing the scalable power promised by the cloud.

The CIO’s value is no longer as the gatekeeper but as the pilot of the IT jet within the company. People are lifting off with technology on their own; CIOs need to ensure that everyone has soft landings.